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USA Inc. — A Basic Summary of America’s Financial Statements

April 21, 2011 Comments off

USA Inc. — A Basic Summary of America’s Financial Statements (PDF)
Source: Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (Mary Meeker)

This report looks at the federal government as if it were a business, with the goal of informing the debate about our nation’s financial situation and outlook. In it, we examine USA Inc.’s income statement and balance sheet. We aim to interpret the underlying data and facts and illustrate patterns and trends in easy-to-understand ways. We analyze the drivers of federal revenue and the history of expense growth, and we examine basic scenarios for how America might move toward positive cash flow.

Thanks go out to Liang Wu and Fred Miller and former Morgan Stanley colleagues whose contributions to this report were invaluable. In addition, Richard Ravitch, Emil Henry, Laura Tyson, Al Gore, Meg Whitman, John Cogan, Peter Orszag and Chris Liddell provided inspiration and insights as the report developed. It includes a 2-page foreword; a 12-page text summary; and 460 PowerPoint slides containing data-rich observations. There’s a lot of material – think of it as a book that happens to be a slide presentation.

We hope the slides in particular provide relevant context for the debate about America’s financials. To kick-start the dialogue, we are making the entire slide portion of the report available as a single work for non-commercial distribution (but not for excerpting, or modifying or creating derivatives) under the Creative Commons license. The spirit of connectivity and sharing has become the essence of the Internet, and we encourage interested parties to use the slides to advance the discussion of America’s financial present and future. If you would like to add your own data-driven observations, contribute your insights, improve or clarify ours, please contact us to request permission and provide your suggestions. This document is only a starting point for discussion; the information in it will benefit greatly from your thoughtful input.

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